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 Edict of the Demon, Ch 1: Clash with Miyagi Shindo

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Demon
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Academy Student


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PostSubject: Edict of the Demon, Ch 1: Clash with Miyagi Shindo   Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:38 am

There's a certain noise the leather on your glove makes when you clench your fist. It's the calm before a storm, the pregnant pause before the chaos ensues, and everyone recognizes it. Boxing gloves masked the noise to the average spectator but to the person in front, the person clenching their own fists just the same, they can hear their opponent readying the attack. Perhaps it was a trait of the animal within us, the innate ability to sense danger, and detect the moment when someone's intentions go from benevolent to malevolent. The 'krrr' noise of clenching fists rings like a shrieking bell, above every other noise.

When Sora heard that noise, his teeth clenched tighter, and it took a measure of refrain not to let his jaw jitter. Excitement was a double edged sword. It gave resolve and courage but also cut through patience and art. His own excitement had been more of a curse, quickly picking him apart in the tremors of thrill that shakes ones bones before warfare. It made him forget the basics, like tosses and throws when in close combat. Things became tunneled in, and his goal was clearer than it should have been. Cut and slash. Cut and slash everything. So when he heard the familiar clenching noise of his opponent's declaration of war, he was not happy with the coursing waves of attentiveness that rocked each nerve ending he had. The spinning needles on his skin all pricked through at the same time and his eyes widened as if the image of his target could be any clearer. Something inside him wondered why he didn't attack already -- why he didn't swing and roar and feast and kill. It was his excitement. The dangerous end of skill.

The man before him shot forward and Sora did the very same. The distance between them shrank in a frightened frenzy until the thin and sophisticated blade of his enemy slid along the jagged edge of his own. A single spark flew first, the first indication of a battle, the sizzling eruption that condemned peace and quiet and replaced it with the undeniable evidence of aggression. Then, as the metal paths crossed more, each jagged tooth of Sora's blade seduced another spark to dance before them. If it were the day time perhaps it would not even be visible. But beneath the calm blue sigh of night each spurt of fire was a firefly that rose to life and died just as quickly.

The swing completed, finding the nose of Sora's blade in the dirt besides him. The unsettled sands and grains that fluttered about now touched along his cheek. But he noticed two things. The first that the cloud he had left behind from where he had originally been, was huge -- the result of his propulsion forward. The second thing he noticed, perhaps something he should have realized before, was that the dust on this side, the side that his opponent leaped from, was minimal. Each wisp of yellow and brown that passed by seemed to mock him and his barbaric ways. The opponent who had negotiated with his attack had come at him with so little force that not even a decent eruption of dirt had been formed. What a disgrace, he felt himself mumble mentally before turning around and finding the man doing the same. But the man's blade was not on the floor.

Ah yes, it was disrespectful to do that. One had to keep their blade above their knees at all times, eased backwards at an angle to show some sign of reverence to their method of murder. What a joke. What a fucking joke from these pointy-nosed freaks that dictated how one wields a weapon. He felt himself grip harder, the noise of his fingers reaching his opponent just as soon as it had reached him. He regretted doing it. It was a sign of over-aggression, and he didn't want to give away that something in this man's demeanor was making him angry. It was best to keep things hidden. People didn't realize just how much one could tell from appearance and demeanor. He had learned this the hard way on more than a few occasions, but considered himself reformed on the subject.

Don't vocalize your emotions during a fight.

This guy's name was Miyagi Shindo, the master of the Weeping Blade technique. Now it's not one of those things that are known by name, in fact, outside of Kumogakure it might've been hard to find anyone that has heard of the technique, but that's because it was intentionally spread in that fashion. Everywhere that the technique was taught, it was given a different name, but the basics were drilled into the disciples until there was no difference between one branch and the other. In fact, there is speculation that the Weeping Blade isn't even the original name, and that perhaps, long dead now of course, there was a master somewhere that had taught Shindo this very art.

But Sora knew otherwise.

If he had thought that this man was just an impostor claiming another's art to be his own, then he would not have wasted his time with this challenge. This was meant as a way to assess his own progress in the world of swords. It was hard to find a pure swordsmen these days when everyone else had internalized the use of Chakra and magic like some two-bit witch hoping for power. But swordsmen were the old way and he wanted to see how he matched up against someone who was empirically strong without ever starting to need Chakra at their disposal.

This man was the real deal. The way he held his blade showed a level of comfort that a student could not have. It was the thing with these sorts of martial arts schools - they taught you through fear. You swept the floors and cleaned the walls and when your master taught you a move you copied it to the exact motion. Any variation was disrespect. Any thought was disrespect. Fucking zombies walking around pretending to be humans. Monkey freaks. His teeth clenched further but he calmed himself down. The cold shiver of realization was an unwelcome awakening. He had been slipping into irrational anger this entire match. What was it?

The man readied himself for the second strike and the master's eyes went over Demon's stance as if it were a puzzle -- and not a particularly difficult one at that. This tensed Sora up and he fought off the urge to enter a more traditional position. He was not here to prove anything to the man other than the primal fact that he could bring an end to the others' life. It was almost an insult to call it a primal fact, since it was so prevalent in everything in his life. Power, the difference between active and passive, the difference between bringing change and being changed, was not primal. It was the only thing. It dictated the strength behind his sword, the shine behind his resolve, and the smooth behind his motions. Power was what differentiated the prey and the predator, and to call that primal was to admit that we were all carved from the same dirt that animals were.

But perhaps he was not so different from an animal, he thought, when he compared the way he stood to the way Shindo did. The man's stance was tempered and afflicted by a sureness that was almost ghostly. It was as if the man could see into the future, had seen it already many times, and was certain of the outcome. There was no uncertainty that spewed out of him, uncertainty that could take so many forms. In Demon, this uncertainty was bubbling in colors of red and yellow in the form of anger. It was a relentless anger that crippled him at times, made him blind to the more subtle textures of a battle's surface. Due to this anger, he did not notice something that perhaps he should have long ago. His thoughts were scrambling. 'Nonrepellency supergyre chirper off blouson dandiest unensnared unchristened minhagim baguio storyville anconal rhinelander begotten alberto baptise uncontributory leitmotif diversely nonalignment jimmied bioecologically euphuism triglyceride meteorological subsist. Abducens supplicant grandeur waxiest melanistic modernizing calefaction unflowery helene gladwin unsued odra intersexually fermentative poikilothermism unquibbling calamander trichosis symphonically curably overlegislate headquarters preindustry tiberias mammock doorman begin illiberalising milline. Isoteniscope nonconscious puerperal ungual viewer hodding intens vidicon rabbito sweating obovoid lithia bulbil embryologist unhustling,' his mind vocalized within the walls of his thoughts. It didn't make sense but it didn't seem out of place when he was gripping his sword. In fact it made perfect sense in the context of the situation, or at least, it did to him. Were he more well-versed in the art of Genjutsu then perhaps he might have realized that these thoughts were intrusions. 'Nonrepellency supergyre chirper off blouson dandiest unensnared unchristened minhagim baguio storyville anconal rhinelander begotten alberto baptise uncontributory leitmotif diversely nonalignment jimmied bioecologically euphuism triglyceride meteorological subsist. Abducens supplicant grandeur waxiest melanistic modernizing calefaction unflowery helene gladwin unsued odra intersexually fermentative poikilothermism unquibbling calamander trichosis symphonically curably overlegislate headquarters preindustry tiberias mammock doorman begin illiberalising milline. Isoteniscope nonconscious puerperal ungual viewer hodding intens vidicon rabbito sweating obovoid lithia bulbil embryologist unhustling,' came again like a wave through his thoughts, and it felt right. He was supposed to think these things and these things perfectly summed up the situation, right?

Wrong.

It was hard to focus. It was hard to think of things that made objective sense.He should have been measuring the distance between them, and detecting the angle that the man held his sword. The lower the angle, the more likely an upper swing was. But if it was a clean horizontal position then the sword could go either direction, ambiguous and fleeting in its decision. But being ambiguous meant a sacrifice in speed and power. After-all, a secondary swing at the last moment required motion when motion was scarce, required thought when instinct was what was supposed to reign. 'Nonrepellency supergyre chirper off blouson dandiest unensnared unchristened minhagim baguio storyville anconal rhinelander begotten alberto baptise uncontributory leitmotif diversely nonalignment jimmied bioecologically euphuism triglyceride meteorological subsist. Abducens supplicant grandeur waxiest melanistic modernizing calefaction unflowery helene gladwin unsued odra intersexually fermentative poikilothermism unquibbling calamander trichosis symphonically curably overlegislate headquarters preindustry tiberias mammock doorman begin illiberalising milline. Isoteniscope nonconscious puerperal ungual viewer hodding intens vidicon rabbito sweating obovoid lithia bulbil embryologist unhustling. Nonrepellency supergyre chirper off blouson dandiest unensnared unchristened minhagim baguio storyville anconal rhinelander begotten alberto baptise uncontributory leitmotif diversely nonalignment jimmied bioecologically euphuism triglyceride meteorological subsist. Abducens supplicant grandeur waxiest melanistic modernizing calefaction unflowery helene gladwin unsued odra intersexually fermentative poikilothermism unquibbling calamander trichosis symphonically curably overlegislate headquarters preindustry tiberias mammock doorman begin illiberalising milline. Isoteniscope nonconscious puerperal ungual viewer hodding intens vidicon rabbito sweating obovoid lithia bulbil embryologist unhustling.' None of the aforementioned thoughts came to him now. Instead he was conquered by this reigning anarchy of words, most of which he did not even understand. But his clench on his sword became tighter. The words made sense. They were a reflection on the past, an analysis on the present, and a plan on the future. It was all his mind needed, or so it was convinced when he shot forward. 'Denuclearize,' his mind screamed as he saw the man reflect the onward motion. The two of them shot forward and again the space between them fled in terror. Denuclearize what? It made too much sense to question. 'Denuclearize histopathologic detoxicated inswing brawler imidazole snippetiness hardly palaeobotany gamboge anisocarpic. Freakout unforestalled nontractableness uncovetous absolutistically subcommissaryship nonscarcity vilifying pharyngeal benedictional battologize unimproved scrobiculated crossroads asonia homophyly flagrantly sincereness spray southeaster palsylike temerity corrivalry relating promilitary schnitzel lozi nonimmanent mumetal. Unenamored urination isochronizing nonrepresentation dependancy planktonic stonelike waistcloth delphic issuably chartless deemphasis procompetition tactual vileness shillala subpostmaster inadvisability prereceived pruta psephologist unnew gattamelata emmie underusher nonportrayable ingeniously unplait faery. Billsticking apothecium speechlessness.' None of it made any sense yet it was right. Their swords clashed, and the jagged edge of his ran once again along the smooth edge of Shindo's. Speechlessness. Speechlessness. Speechlessness. Speechlessness. Speechlessness. Speechlessness!!! But the man had predicted this strike. Speechlessness. He couldn't have read the motion so fast, could he? Was Demon just being predictable? Was something wrong with his form? Sora's swing went upwards, a wide and ugly form of attack, while the man only touched the edge of Demon's sword before pulling his own underneath and cutting across Sora's knee. 'Denuclearize histopathologic detoxicated inswing brawler imidazole snippetiness hardly palaeobotany gamboge anisocarpic. Freakout unforestalled nontractableness uncovetous absolutistically subcommissaryship nonscarcity vilifying pharyngeal benedictional battologize unimproved scrobiculated crossroads asonia homophyly flagrantly sincereness spray southeaster palsylike temerity corrivalry relating promilitary schnitzel lozi nonimmanent mumetal. Unenamored urination isochronizing nonrepresentation dependancy planktonic stonelike waistcloth delphic issuably chartless deemphasis procompetition tactual vileness shillala subpostmaster inadvisability prereceived pruta psephologist unnew gattamelata emmie underusher nonportrayable ingeniously unplait faery. Billsticking apothecium speechlessness.'

What the fuck was going on.

Why did that attack land so easily?!

In a childish display of disbelief, Demon looked down at where the gaping wound now lay, a fickle taunt at his own lack of discipline. His leg trembled, worsening the condition, causing more tiny squirts to push out onto his pants and soon onto the floor. The puddle that formed below reflected his face, which was odd, given how dark it was. He heard the grass around him rustle lifelessly, from the wind and chill, while the blade of his opponent gleamed to life behind him. Why was he aware of the blade? It was getting cold, and perhaps this was due to the newly opened cut in his skin, but watching his life blood flow out of him due to such a rookie mistake made him angry at himself. To lose in a trade like that, to someone with such a wimpy, shitty fuckin' sword. It was pathetic. His teeth clenched. Looking up, the starry sky seemed to look down on him with a message -- a message that he missed. Something was off. It was his timing, or his footwork, or this odd cold that made it harder to clench confidently onto the hilt of his sword. The sky was an omnipresent blue that did not reflect his sentiment and suddenly he felt like the only thing in this scene that was unsure of its own ways. His leg trembled, worsening the condition, causing more tiny squirts to push out onto his pants and soon onto the floor. The puddle that formed below reflected his face, which was odd, given how dark it was. He heard the grass around him rustle lifelessly, from the wind and chill, while the blade of his opponent gleamed to life behind him. Why was he aware of the blade? It was getting cold, and perhaps this was due to the newly opened cut in his skin, but watching his life blood flow out of him due to such a rookie mistake made him angry at himself. To lose in a trade like that, to someone with such a wimpy, shitty fuckin' sword. It was pathetic. His teeth clenched. How odd. Why was the pool so reflective in this lack of light?

He growled out a command that was difficult to understand to anyone that had not previously conversed with him.
"Listen to me you dirty piece of shit. I'm going to fuckin' kill you." His words didn't seem to hold any weight to them, and it felt almost as if he were talking to someone that did not hear him at all. He turned around to see Shindo, his sword readying for round three without any recognition of this oddness. Was getting cut so bad that it would startle him to his core like this? A sort of numbness in confusion overtook him. He had to kill this man. It was the only way. It was the only way that this anger would subside. His leg trembled, worsening the condition, causing more tiny squirts to push out onto his pants and soon onto the floor. The puddle that formed below reflected his face, which was odd, given how dark it was. He heard the grass around him rustle lifelessly, from the wind and chill, while the blade of his opponent gleamed to life behind him. Why was he aware of the blade? It was getting cold, and perhaps this was due to the newly opened cut in his skin, but watching his life blood flow out of him due to such a rookie mistake made him angry at himself. To lose in a trade like that, to someone with such a wimpy, shitty fuckin' sword. It was pathetic. His teeth clenched. His face contorted uncomfortably. Why was he clenching his teeth so hard?

"You don't look too well, Asura."

The last time he had forgotten the feeling of fear, he had been betrayed. And his childhood friend Yukio knew all about that. It surely was too many years ago to be relevant now, but he thought of that time anyway as if he were helpless to the bout of nostalgic fear. This irrational triumph of one emotion over all others was not something he was new to.That’s stupid,’ Yukio had retorted, hearing something odd in his own voice. ‘She is uh… kind, and smart, and I guess she’s pretty so-‘ His words were all of the encouragement he needed, and the warnings of his advisers were suddenly blotted out. What did it matter when some of the facts happened to align with the vision he wanted to see? It didn't matter.

'Yeah you’re right. She’s not that bad.’Yukio could feel his stomach tensing at the words. At some level, his trust for her was just a derivative for Asura’s trust for her. Had Asura decided to push her off of the water tank, Yukio would not have let her up. Regret swam through his gut, the byproduct of an emotion he did not understand then. They were in their fourth year of the Academy then, and it had been two years since the three of them had become friends. It was important not to trust things based off of what we saw, but that was not something Asura could have known then, all those years ago. At some point one must step back and question whether trust was a derivative of complacence or if it was the other way around. He could not now be certain, but he knew he was wrong then. He was definitely wrong then. One can never rely too much on their own skill or the path to progress becomes stunted.

When the Ferris Wheel came down again to the ground, the fireworks started.

Reika was waiting for them as they stepped out of the line. She wore a yukata of red and gold that Yukio had not thought she could have afforded. Her hair stood still, tied up over her head, as she glided towards Asura and took a hold of his hand. Yukio looked down and watched Asura’s hand, waiting for his friend to jerk it away from Reika as he always did. But on that day, Asura let her hold it. And given this window of liberty, she slid her fingers through Asura’s and pressed her face to the boy’s shoulder. These feelings were normal back then, a byproduct of the events that he had undergone, and nothing about them struck out as unusual to him. They should have.

He wished now that he had seen what was unusual about Shindo's approach. It was all wrong in some way or form but it was hard to tell, even in retrospect, that he was certain how it was done. Could vibrations really be carried in such a manner? Was it possible for someone to use a weapon so crudely in battle but like a surgeon in deception?

‘Asura, can you come with me?’

Yukio quickly moved his gaze from Asura’s hand over to Asura’s eyes, curious if they should look back to Yukio for approval. If they did, would Yukio have pleaded Asura not to go? Would he have begged the Takayama boy to stay and spend the festival with him? Asura did not look at anything other than Reika, seeming more pensive than Yukio had ever seen him. ‘Okay, lead the way,’ said Asura, and suddenly, the two of them were off towards the woods. Yukio realized that a few of the girls had been watching, waiting to see what Asura would say, and now they held their cheeks and whispered loudly to one another at the scene of Asura agreeing. This would be the talk of the whole school tomorrow, grumbled Yukio mournfully. But helpless to some morbid curiosity, Yukio followed the love birds.

They walked deep into the surrounding forest, away from the crowds, and then away from the lights. Yukio's heart pounded, noticing before even his eyes did, that Asura had not let go of her hand. When finally Reika stopped, they were in a small clearing where only the light of the fireworks could reach. It cast Reika in the shade while Yukio could see Asura's expression clearly. The boy wore a thoughtful smile, as if he had seen a side to a story that was not there before. Yukio clenched his fists in vain.

'I made this for you,' she said, in a vexing tone that only girls could conjure. Pulling it out of her sash, Reika presented a small box of chocolates to Asura. Did she really make them herself? He wanted to discredit her emotions. But she seemed to be happy when Asura was around. Maybe her feelings for him were genuine. Maybe she deserved reciprocation from someone like Asura. That was when Asura took a hold of the small box with both of his hands, and bowed his head.

'You know, this is the first time I'm happy to receive a gift from someone.'

Asura let out a laugh, keeping his head bowed while holding onto what she had made, but Reika reacted differently. Almost immediately she quivered her shoulders, then burst into tears. Her crying was not womanly, and like a little girl does, she ran into Asura's arms. Burying her head against his neck, she shook with waves of tears, as Asura ran his free hand down her hair as softly as he could. Yukio could not turn away. In retrospect, that would have been the perfect time to turn away.

Even his voice sounded weird. Why did it sound weird? Demon looked back and forth between one edge of his vision and the next, finding something wrong but unable to place it and this only made him angrier. As he bore his fang-like teeth and let out a low growl, his opponent observed like one does an animal. That's what Demon felt like now, an animal. His leg trembled, worsening the condition, causing more tiny squirts to push out onto his pants and soon onto the floor. The puddle that formed below reflected his face, which was odd, given how dark it was. He heard the grass around him rustle lifelessly, from the wind and chill, while the blade of his opponent gleamed to life behind him. Why was he aware of the blade? It was getting cold, and perhaps this was due to the newly opened cut in his skin, but watching his life blood flow out of him due to such a rookie mistake made him angry at himself. To lose in a trade like that, to someone with such a wimpy, shitty fuckin' sword. It was pathetic. His teeth clenched. How many times had he seen his leg? What was going on.

Shindo shot forward, but Demon did not move. Instead he stood still and watched the curious cut on his leg, something that had managed to get his attention so often. What was going on? The singing hum of the blade that came to cut him grew more bold, and grew close. He was taken back to an earlier training session in an earlier time, when things had not been simple.

It was at the Mother Terra Church, or what was left of it anyhow. The place was decadent with flame and turmoil when Sora had gotten there, an unfortunate side-effect of the battles past. He could not bring himself to leave his spot of cover, and the spot of cover was the only thing between himself and the oncoming onslaught of metal and death. He could hear each zinging whirl shoot past him and strike different parts of the wall that he faced, his eyes scrambling to catch each dent made on the surface of the structure while his mind did something similar -- scrambling around to find an answer to this predicament.

He was pinned down, with a sniper on the top right that was wielding some sort of explosive shot, and ground troops quickly making way from the left. They did not know, of course, that he was behind this specific building, but that was only because of the collage of towers that surrounded his location, making it hard to pin-point one dark-skinned person on the run. His chest heaved almost in unison with the thud-thuds of the incoming Shinobi, each surely readying for some sort of restraining Jutsu. They didn't want him dead. He had information that they wanted and he needed to be alive to give it to them.

Of course with these sorts of people, the form of extraction was always the worst - almost exactly the kinds that you heard about and felt was exaggeration. They really did do those things to their prisoners. Breaking a man was not easy and not nearly as simple as one thought. Pain wasn't the route, hope was. But these people knew that, or so Sora had heard. They knew exactly how to drain promise away from one's eyes and leave him with little left. It was a terrifying sight to see. By then, Code Name Demon had been on quite a few rescue missions to extract those that were prisoners of war. And he couldn't remember a single one of them that ended happily. It was always the same story. Broken man, broken spirit, broken spine.

They would do the same to him. Even if he afforded them the information that they wanted -- even if he told the exact locations of the three different mercenary bases that he operated out of -- they would still torture him. It was business as usual and surely their reputation had caused many of their resident prisoners to cave in before the torture began. But if word got out that they did not break the willing, then the fear that surrounded them would dissipate. It would seem as though they were open for negotiation and these people wanted anything but to give that image. They were not open to talks, open to surrender. They killed.

The truth was, these interrogators, a group of around two hundred men, were mercenaries just like Sora. So it was perhaps ironic that they spoke so condescendingly of men of fire when they themselves were of the same breed. But they were much more organized and rightfully charged much higher. The Order of the Tal'hab was what they called themselves. In the desert language it meant something ominous that Sora could not remember now, in his panic. Sora had run across them quite a few times before, mostly in those rescue missions. Infiltration was not his strong-suit but his friend Tsuki was skilled enough to carry both of their weights. All of their rescue missions thus far had been a grand success, with Tsuki devising ways to break into the Tal'hab's temporary bases. That was the thing with temporary bases -- you don't get to employ the same standards and practices that you would otherwise. It was all a very messy setup to begin with and once you had to deal with mercenaries, it all went to shit.

This time, the Tal'hab was working for the Commissioner of Lands and Trades, from the Gaki Islands off the coast of Water Country. He had sent the Tal'hab all the way here to sniff out the mercenaries that were once hired to steal his documents and release them to the public. It was all a very big scandal and had caused the Commissioner his run at the Prime Minister position. But that was years ago, and while his reputation suffered, his connections were still real. So, in what must have been an attempt to get back to his former glory, he had sent these men out to find the exact perpetrators of that sting operation so many years ago. Now it just so happens that the person who released those papers to a group of young journalists was Sora himself. They were juicy. Real juicy. The kind of juice that lasts for years. The kind of juice that you let trickle drop by drop and each drop makes a tidal wave instead of a ripple, and boom you've got your career made. Everyone wants you on their prints, everyone wants to co-sign your articles, and you're the big man.

The two young men that he had given the documents to, however, were found gutted and beheaded the very next morning, after releasing the news in one fell swoop. See that's where Sora was different. Sora wouldn't give two shits about the good of the people when it came to things like these. You get the news out in tiny bits so you can cash in for a long time. That's just how the world works. You don't kill your golden goose before it's done laying all the golden eggs it can push out. But these young kids knew something that Sora didn't. They feared something that Sora had not considered. If they got this stuff out piece by piece, there was a chance that something would happen and the rest of the story would get lost in translation. There was a chance they'd get taken out.

To them, the news was more important than their lives, and as a result, they posted it all immediately. It was a big deal. The Commissioner's career hit a brick wall right there and then. The brick wall had god-damn spikes on it with the words that those kids used, co-signing the article and publishing it for free in every news outlet that was willing to run it. They didn't even make a fuckin' cent. Sora hated that he was about to die for that do-gooder bullshit.

And now, that same Commissioner had bribed his way into power again. He wore make-up and good clothes and white shoes and white ties and white plastic teeth all over again as if someone had pressed one big fuckin' reset button. It pissed Sora off. And now he was going to die for this bullshit. Looking to either side, Demon could tell which path they were taking from the way the shadows moved. They wanted him so that they can find out who paid for the initial job, which one of this Commissioner's friends wanted his shady dealings to be broadcasted to the public. Then suddenly a spear shot through the wall that he was leaning on and cut a scathing wound into his shoulder. He whirled around just before the wall fell and the troops behind caught sight of him.

He was genuinely afraid in that moment.

But why had he thought of that now, while fighting Shindo? The man's approach was calculated, and he was almost at Sora's throat before Sora pushed back with his feet and jumped away a few yards. Shindo stopped, allowed his sword to regain its original composure, and readied the next attack. Demon, however, looking down at the hilt of his own sword, confused as to how he had managed to lose his focus, and why his mind had wandered back to that moment. That's when he saw the small inscription on the cloth of his sword, etched in make-shift chalk. 'If you fear nothing, you won't know when to be truly afraid.' He remembered who wrote it. It was Tsuki, while they were off on a mission that was relatively simple. They had taken time to ogle at the ladies and that's when Tsuki took a hold of Sora's sword. Moving his palm down he found the entire note, something that had been lost in the sands of time until now.

Don't give in, but don't hold courage when you have no reason to. There are times when we are cornered and trapped and these are the moments when we must escape, regroup, and analyze. Without this intrinsic ability to judge when a loss is imposing, we're feral beasts darting into any sort of danger without a care in the world. It is the bane of our existence when we give in to a loss without ever putting up the proper fight to begin with. Cling to life, cling to it like a coward, because when you're alone the only person who will care for your survival is you. You are not the hero of a story, not the protagonist of a tale, and you won't survive if you hold on to nothing besides your determination. Drop to your knees and grovel if you need to. Beg and plead and cut off your tongue to show your humility to he that holds his sword over your throat because a shivering dog is still more alive than a beheaded hero. Stay alive, Sora. Stay alive and learn to be afraid.


"BASTAAAARD!!"

His roar was not what Shindo expected, and the man took a step back. But now Sora understood why his outburst was unexpected. It made sense as to why the master of the Weeping Blade technique had been so resolute but careful on the first attack, then he seemed to relax thereafter. The man had gained an unwarranted amount of confidence after that first exchange, and it was not the sort of exchange that one should have understood a battle from. It was even. Dead even. And neither of the two had shown their trump cards. If it was Sora that had shown all of his tricks while the Master Swordsman matched it all without effort then perhaps it would be a different story, but as it stood, neither of them had done anything beyond test the waters. And for this change in demeanor...

It had to be something more. The first strike, where their swords met, it was something more to Shindo than just testing the waters. It was the deciding factor in the battle. IT WAS A FUCKIN' SET UP.


"YOU FUCKIN' SNAKE I'LL CUT YOUR THROAT OUT I SWEAR!!!"

Shindo's composure had changed. It had reverted. It was now back to the way it was before their first strike. His sword was more stern and more calculated and his eyes did not hold the relaxed certainty anymore. It was as if the second and third slashes had never occurred. And Sora noticed immediately. The riveting nails of pleasure that dragged up his spine were not something he could ignore. It was a numbing and taunting flow of excitement that he allowed for that one moment. It caused him to grip tightly onto the hilt of his sword as he charged towards Shindo, and the two of them pioneered their own personal brand of warfare for the fourth time. But this time things would be different.

The momentum had shifted.

That's not to say that the ground covered could be ignored. The wound on Demon's knee still sighed out streaks of blood with each step he took. Shindo had managed to land that blow, and managed to break Demon's resolve for those few dangerous moments. The success that Shindo had met was a direct result of his precaution, and it was this planning that Demon had not considered -- that demon had not been afraid of. But now, the fear that stretched his eyes out seemed to make him more aware of where he had gone wrong before.

You see when you consider these sorts of straight-pinned fucks that walked around pretending like their Samurai way was the greatest, you were goaded into hating them. It was easy to hate them. The way they slashed their swords in a straight line and held it there to let the reverberations flow through the Katana before drawing it back was something you hated naturally. The way they would sheath their weapon the moment that a battle was decided, as if revealing their sword in a common situation was a sign of disrespect, was easy to hate. 'Don't give in, but don't hold courage when you have no reason to.' And when you hated them, you started believing that anything they brought to the table was a load of bullshit. There's no way that these semi-evolved freaks could outwit you, right? 'Don't give in, but don't hold courage when you have no reason to.' But that made one dangerously large assumption. It assumed that something detestable was the same thing as something negligible. Shindo might have been the perfect embodiment of this god-forsaken form of art, but he was not a fool.

Was it so crazy to assume that he had adapted?

The first time their swords met. That was the pivotal point. That was what had, in Shindo's mind, decided the outcome of the fight. If it had not been for whatever success that Shindo met in that first strike, he would not have been so easy for the next two. And now, now that he was back to his uncertain and dogmatic self, it meant that the plan had gone to shit. For the first time in the fight it felt as though Shindo's ideas and contemplations were off the mark. 'There are times when we are cornered and trapped and these are the moments when we must escape, regroup, and analyze. Without this intrinsic ability to judge when a loss is imposing, we're feral beasts darting into any sort of danger without a care in the world.' And this time around, Demon was not the beast just waiting to be toyed with. The growl that passed his lips begged otherwise but the spinning shape of his thoughts grounded him to the nature of this fight. It was no longer a rest of strength. This man was more. This man had Demon's number and the onus was on Demon to figure out a way to beat him still.

That's when his thoughts felt a passing shiver.

'Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow...,' his mind whispered nonchalantly. His eyes spread wide open. No, not this again. Fuck. Shindo's approach had not slowed but his had, and the doubt in his mind showed. Fuck fuck fuck there was something wrong. He wondered if it was his mind, wondering again. But how?

After-effects.

These were the ebbs and flows of the aftershocks, something that reminds us of the trauma we've felt and the stress disorders we've accumulated like badges after the war. He understood it but did not know why it was happening to him. He had escaped. He had managed to do at least that much to escape. How could it haunt him still, this disorientation caused by his opponent?

'Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill.' It didin't make any sense, and time seemed to slow down. Such strong after-effects of the initial deception. What was this? Had some sort of trap been set up from before? It couldn't be. 'Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill!Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill!' There was just no opportunity to catch him with something. In the gap between one moment and the next, Sora found himself trying to convince his inner thoughts that he had not let himself slip. After-all, no level of Ninjutsu that he knew could cause such a lasting effect if he had managed to break out of the initial hit. It made no sense. 'Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill!Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill!Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill!Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill! Rip tear pierce burn cut slice bite swallow trap roar nail fuck rape kill!' The day had started with the usual, and continued on as any other would have gone. He had a few mission listings to parse through, and a few invitations to teams that he had to formally deny. It was all one big clusterfuck of paperwork and that's the reason he left his small apartment and went to the town square. If he hadn't seen this man show his stupid demonstration of his stupid Weeping Blade technique then he would not have become so irritated and stated his challenge afterwards. But even then, there was no way that they could have predicted his arrival, right? For these mind-scrambling effects to hit him, it had to have been a poison, but he didn't eat anything from the demonstration. There was no chance for them to offer food to their patrons and slip in these chemicals. Then what was it?

The space between him and Shindo was almost nonexistent, and then came the time for the swing. The clang of their blades sounded different, sounded lighter and emptier. Shindo shot past him and both of them came to a stop at opposite sides of the field, their fourth exchange ending in remarkably different fashion.
"So you've figured it out," came the opponent's words. There was a whipping noise in the air that came to a sudden stop when Demon's sword landed in the soil, several yards away from either fighter. He had let go of it at the very last second before contact, and whirled into safety. And while he hungrily took in a deep breath, he felt the calm of the situation retain control over his mind. The noise in his head was gone and his thoughts were collected again.

That was the key. He had to be afraid of this man, to give him the benefit of the doubt, and believe that there was indeed a way for him to beat Demon. It was true. If Demon had not recalled that one window of his past, the gut-wrenching grip of fear, he might not have known how to act in those situations. Unlike an animal, humans shouldn't roar and swing when cornered. They need to analyze and react. 'Cling to life, cling to it like a coward, because when you're alone the only person who will care for your survival is you. You are not the hero of a story, not the protagonist of a tale, and you won't survive if you hold on to nothing besides your determination' were Tsuki's words. He would have lost here without that cold chill of fear, and that made him more aware of his opponent.


"Of course I figured it out you stinkin' puddle of shit."

He ran to his sword and picked it up from the ground. It no longer vibrated in that low and dull frequency as it had before. He had assumed it was just the result of the jagged end of his blade running against the smooth surface of Shindo's, but it wasn't. It was a Sound Jutsu. The fuckin' snake had cast a sound Jutsu through his sword. It was disorienting Demon when he was holding the hilt and each time he would clash swords again was another time that the vibration was renewed. The man was stern and nervous on the first strike only because the first strike was the deciding factor. He wanted to make sure that his Jutsu's power was transferred to Demon's blade. And after that victory was almost assured. But now those vibrations were dissipated, donated to the Mother Earth where they would come and go and live and die into tinier fragments before vanishing into the immeasurable. He felt alive again, no longer confused. "I wouldn't put it past you shit-eater types to pull something like that." He growled again, through the jagged teeth of his grin, and shot forward in attack, without waiting for the opponent to ready. Of course this was not to say that Shindo was not prepared.

Shindo entered his stance and answered.

What a marvelous creature, thought Demon. How many people must he have fooled to get where he was now. The art that he invented... now he's abusing it... running his Sound Jutsu through the blade that was supposed to be pure but it's as dirty as the rest of us. He's not above anything. He's right down here in the gutters, dressed like a fuckin' princess. But he was the original. What a shitty world where the grand master of a technique is abusing it, hiding secrets in it so that he can win. He's clinging onto victory just like every other fuckin' scum on here that waves their sword. He's no better. Suddenly it made sense. 'Cling to life, cling to it like a coward, because when you're alone the only person who will care for your survival is you. You are not the hero of a story, not the protagonist of a tale, and you won't survive if you hold on to nothing besides your determination. Drop to your knees and grovel if you need to. Beg and plead and cut off your tongue to show your humility to he that holds his sword over your throat because a shivering dog is still more alive than a beheaded hero. Stay alive, Sora. Stay alive and learn to be afraid.' Everyone's a coward.

Demon threw his sword up, Shindo's eyes followed it while Demon outstretched his arm. Quickly the Swordsman regained focus on Demon and slashed into his ribcage, but Demon had gotten what he wanted -- he had Shindo's face in the closing grip of his hands. That moment of time refused to pass, as the sound of squeezing, the sound of clenching, overcame all other noises. Demon's grip was not one to loosen on his hilt or on someone's cheek bones. But before the skull cracked, Miyagi Shindo sheathed his sword.

Surrender.

Demon let go. They both stood still in the wake of their battle, reflecting on what had transpired and what had failed to take place. Sora sheathed his own weapon and let out an audible sigh.

"This has been an honor, Asura."

Sora responded, and the two of them began walking in separate directions. Before Sora was the village, the colossus of Kumogakure. And before Shindo were the mountains. This was not the last time that the two of them would meet, however this was the final time that they would meet in Kumogakure. Miyagi Shindo, the creator of the Weeping Blade technique, would not stop incorporating Sound into his weaponry. It would later be recognized as a pioneering method of attack, adopted by hundreds of thousands. When the two would meet again, it was not in the dead quiet of night, amidst the emptiness of a field. It would be in the blaring sun on a blood-soaked field -- Shindo would be the hero, and Sora would be the dog from hell.



--- --- ---
WC: 8,101
SP: 40, JP: 81


Last edited by Demon on Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hunter Yagami
Jounin
Jounin


Fame : 5
Home Village :
  • Cloud

Element(s) : Lightning, Fire, Wind
Clan : Yagami
Clan Element : Thunder Flare
Bloodline : Blood of War (Stage 4, Lvl.3)
Ryo : 3200
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PostSubject: Re: Edict of the Demon, Ch 1: Clash with Miyagi Shindo   Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:48 am

lol other than using colorful language, blocks and blocks of text with no dialouge seperation, small text, and rather funny display of craziness. I..my friend...I approve



Hunter Yagami Stats
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Health:93
Chakra:102
Stamina:31
Speed:143
Strength:133
Throwing Speed:205
Throwing Distance:66 Meters
Weapon Sharpness Bonus:205

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Edict of the Demon, Ch 1: Clash with Miyagi Shindo
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